3 December 2010
British Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham has pledged to double trade volumes between South Africa and the UK by 2015. The goal was set by President Jacob Zuma during his state visit to the UK in March 2010.
Bellingham made the pledge during discussions with Deputy International Relations and Cooperation Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Major trading partner, investor
Britain is one of South Africa’s major trading partners, and remains one of the two largest foreign investors in South Africa. There are over 200 South African companies that have established a presence in the UK.
Total trade between the United Kingdom and South Africa increased by 173% between 1998 and 2008, from R25.492-billion to R69.630-billion.
Bellingham also congratulated South Africa on its return to the United Nations Security Council after a short absence and with such an overwhelming vote in its favour.
He also expressed Britain’s firm commitment to closely collaborating with South Africa and to sharing views on matters of mutual concern.
Ebrahim expressed appreciation for the UK’s commitment to maintaining International Development assistance at a level of 0.7% of Gross National Income, even in the harsh economic times.
Relations between South Africa and the UK are strong across the board, covering fields as diverse as defence, trade liberalisation and development co-operation.